The Martins wanted ‘a simple cottage.’ Frank Lloyd Wright had other ideas.
“What they wanted was a simple, lakeside cottage,” Wooler said of Darwin D. Martin’s and his wife’s original desire for the summer vacation home. “You may think that this is a little bit more than a cottage, and therein lies the interesting dynamics with a family that was trying to keep the budget down and keep it simple, and Frank Lloyd Wright, who had his own design objectives in mind and really wanted to design in harmony with the land.”
Graycliff was built with stones from … a gray cliff
Picture ox-carts filled with heavy limestone rocks being gingerly carted up the side of a 70-foot cliff to the Martins’ plot of land. That’s how the organic material that makes up much of the house was gathered and transported, resulting in an organic style literally extracted from the surrounding landscape.
Though much of the wood in the house is non-native cypress, the masterful stonework on the interior and exterior is a direct reflection of the cliff on which the house sits.